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Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I've done my review, here's its summary:

I understand that this album isn't for the pure old-school thrash fans. Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing is basically heavy thrashy industrial metal with lots of noise and rage. Despite a few disorganized songs, the album comes out as a great beginning for Devy's massive career. I'm not kidding about the raging intensity, many of the songs have savage riffing hellfire, blazing drum blasts, and screaming vocal anger, though there are some clean moments and Devy's signature humor. It's all here in the beginning of this Canadian metal man's adventurous journey. After two albums for one-time projects (Punky Brüster and Ocean Machine), Devin Townsend would bring the sound of SYL to perfection in the band's next album City....


Recommended tracks: "S.Y.L.", "In the Rainy Season", "Cod Metal King", "The Filler - Sweet City Jesus", "Drizzlehell"

For fans of: Devin Townsend's heavier albums, Space Avenue-era Waltari, Fear Factory

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I have been listening to Sky Void of Stars quite a bit in recent months. I would not class myself as a big Katatonia fan even (well not beyond Dance of December Souls anyway), yet something has kept me coming back over the recent sorties I have flown over this strangely endearing record.

Placing my finger exactly on what I like here is a tough call for me. Alternative metal is not anywhere near the top of my metal preferences. However, as with that Bad Omens’ record last year, I occasionally find a malignant tenderness in the less extreme metal formats that I stumble across, a sort of infrequent palate cleansing of the harsher tasting notes that linger on my tastebuds over time that helps me understand that aggression does not always have to be aggressive, darkness can exist through performing more in the light and that melancholy can be expressed without listening to someone bleed their very soul out on a record.

Katatonia it should be mentioned are amazing musicians and songwriters. They have had years of practice of honing their artform and it shows in spades on Sky Void of Stars. There is an engrained clumsiness in most of these tracks that they still manage to pull off without too many points of the cumbersome nature of some of the structures becoming unbearable. Tracks such as (my personal) album highlight Impermanence follow a trajectory where the lyrics sound like they are perhaps written for another song with different pacing and tempo altogether, yet they somehow end up so well suited to the track. I find this album therefore to be a very confident sounding release. Not cocksure or arrogant, just bold in their beliefs that their ability to express themselves need not always take a traditional or conformist path.

I would argue that the album stretches its legs beyond just the walls of alternative metal with those background keys and voluminous chunky riffs adding progressive climes to the overall construct. When they speak, the lead guitarist’s work of Roger and Anders possesses a sublime clarity that fills the very air around them with rays of colour that can at times seem lacking in the more mechanical rhythms that get deployed.

I have a feeling that over time my rating for this record will grow but for now it is a very comfortable listen that has duplicitous purpose as it can just as easily be background or driving music as well as lending itself equally well to a deeper and more exploratory listen.


Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Meathook Seed - "Famine Sector" from Embedded (1993)

4.5/5. The crushing opener of this playlist is, without a doubt, one of the best songs of this industrial death metal blend! I don't have much to describe its greatness.

Deathstars - "Midnight Party" from Everything Destroys You (2023)

5/5. Deathstars is back, and back hard! They've made an explosive throwback to their 2000s era. Whiplasher sounds like the guy who can just be a fan of the band and still lead them. Great music as always!

Pitchshifter - "Landfill" from Industrial (1991)

4.5/5. Pitchshifter made a prime example of using Godflesh's industrial metal formula. They just repeat the same riff throughout, and even the lyrics are minimal. It's just "Hate, I hate, hate, I hate you motherf***er, drown, bleed, I wish you could." They even mix in a few samples with slow guitars/drums. Despite the repetition, I enjoy that one. Fear Factory made their own cover of that song over two decades later.

Sore Throat - "Phase IV" from Inde$troy (1989)

4/5. This is often called the "Air" section and has standard hardcore heaviness while having that industrial vibe.

Rob Zombie - "Superbeast" from Hellbilly Deluxe (1998)

3.5/5. You can shout along to this highlight and its gang-infused chorus. I saw the music video for that song quite long ago.

Dead World - "Kill" from The Machine (1993)

4/5. This is a pretty good throwback to the earlier doom, though the Marilyn Manson-like lyrics cause some complications, "Football on the TV, beer in the hand, the extent of his rational depth. He's a god fearing man, a wife beating f***, a vacuous flag waving fool."

Skrew - "Albatross" from Dusted (1994)

4.5/5. Also in a slightly higher level than Ministry is quite a monster within those chords.

Pain - "On Your Knees (Again)" from Pain (1997)

5/5. This is without a doubt a true highlight. The standard riffs sound so greatly written.

White Zombie - "El Phantasmo and the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama" from Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head (1995)

4.5/5. This is a song I can have an awesome blast with. One of the best songs to love here! After a heavy headbanging, the speed slows down, while still having its greatness.

Godflesh - "Crush My Soul" from Selfless (1994)

4.5/5. Stretching out the skeletal structure, there are more traditional industrial sounds, with electronic samples reminding some of Aphex Twin at that time. Though being released as the first single might've tricked fans into thinking the entire album would be like that.

Fear Factory - "Regenerate" from Genexus (2015)

5/5. This one continues to have the heavy and melodic sides duel with each other. Bell's vocals get you hooked as always, while the keyboards by Rhys Fulber sound clean and melodic, essential for making that song one of the most memorable here.

Mushroomhead - "Everyone's Got One - Only Mix" from Remix (1997)

4.5/5. "Only Mix", huh? Makes sense when it's the only original song of that remix album. It's so soft and beautiful that you can play it loud and not disturb the neighbors.

Marilyn Manson - "Antichrist Superstar" from Antichrist Superstar (1996)

4/5. At the start of the Disintegrator Rising cycle, this track will make sure you want the album to keep going as long as you like.

Samael - "Angel's Decay" from Passage (1996)

4.5/5. Although I thought of Samael's Passage as a masterpiece, I ended up turning my back from it to avoid going down the black metal hellhole that the albums before this are in. This amazing song can get still my skin into a Jupiterian vibe. Samael and Pain have some of that modern industrial metal strength, a little more than Rammstein.

Code Orange - "You and You Alone" from Underneath (2020)

5/5. This one moves through the screaming metalcore madness alongside a withering chorus ("You play your part, you know your role") for teens to yell along to, rebelling against the electronic uprising with complex poetry.

Gothminister - "All This Time" from The Other Side (2017)

4.5/5. Dark philosophical lyrics. Enough said!

Static-X - "Bring You Down (Project Regeneration)" from Project Regeneration, Vol. 1 (2020)

4/5. This song was supposed to be in the Start a War album, but did not make it in. Any song with the subtitle "Project Regeneration" is a scrapped song that has been revived for the project. Definitely has some Wisconsin Death Trip fire in there, especially in the intro. Pretty good one!

King Satan - "Left Hand Path Symphony" from Occult Spiritual Anarchy (2022)

4/5. This one's quite killer, reminding me of Powerwolf gone Rammstein. I don't like this band too much though, which is good because it would be awkward if I, someone who would never be satanic, say "Hail King Satan!" The vocals sound nice in beautiful harmony. Some of the lyrics seem to reference The Holy Mountain. It's quite f***ing great how the keyboards sounds like they're from Deep Purple while having an entirely different sound, and that I quite love.

Combichrist - "One Fire" from One Fire (2019)

3.5/5. Quite underrated, but at the same time not. A bit too much like Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein. The last third of the track is a bit weird.

Crematory - "Inglorious Darkness" from Inglorious Darkness (2022)

4/5. There's some great beauty in here. What else is there to say?

Contracult Collective - "Follow" from FOLLOW (2020)

4.5/5. Well this is quite a kick-A banger! F***ing great, man!

D'espairsRay - "Dears" from Coll:set (2006)

5/5. Do you think in an alternate universe where my brother and I live in a different country like Japan, this would be what my brother would start listening to over a decade ago? I don't know, I don't care. This is a h*lla awesome track! It would've been an easy one for me to sing if I understood Japanese, but I don't. Nonetheless, I love it! They've already pleased fans from America and Europe when they were touring.

Mechina - "The Horizon Effect" from Progenitor (2016)

4.5/5. Such godly music with easy yet chilling lyrics, "I stand in shadows of monuments". This can almost be the cyber metal symphony of the universe! Imagine a more melodic female-led Fear Factory, and you're not too far off. Normally, Mechina is one of those growling bands, but this cleaner female direction is cosmic.

Ministry - "Leper" from Animositisomina (2003)

4/5. Upon stumbling upon this instrumental industrial metal piece, I thought this would be a cool addition to the playlist. Al Jourgensen has really jammed out with drummer Max Brody in this one, sounding fun while the song reeks of empty despair. Ministry, Rammstein, and Nine Inch Nails are 3 of the most popular industrial metal bands, but never really bands I'm up to checking out a lot of. While not having any lyrics, the track warns quite well about humanity's possible future extinction.

Erdling - "Blizzard" from Yggdrasil (2020)

3.5/5. Pretty good though, like most other Neue Deutsche Härte bands, a bit too much like Rammstein. The lyrics are quite great despite being in hard-for-me-to-understand German. I think it can still hammer your skin.

Stahlmann - "Spring Nicht" from Quecksilber (2012)

4/5. Once a Man of Steel, always a Man of Steel. This one's quite great.

Ost+Front - "Ost+Front 2014" from Olympia (2014)

4.5/5. I wonder if anyone seeing the band's name thinks they specialize in original soundtracks for video games. They don't, but this song should be in one.

The Amenta - "Parse Over" from Revelator (2021)

5/5. Forget what I said about that Meathook Seed song being one of the best of industrial death metal, this is even better! There's even some ambient doom throughout to add to the bleakness. That's the kind of playlist ending I need here!

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite some bumpiness in some places. Anyway, I recommend this to any industrial metal fan and anyone who isn't into industrial metal but is up to getting into a great start for the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Enda Vinera - "Death's Calling" from Death's Calling (2022)

5/5. There's no better way to start this playlist with a brand new Lorna Shore-inspired epic deathcore band my brother and I both discovered. This is basically "To The Hellfire 2.0", in a way that sounds like far more like a tribute than the rip-off. I wonder if their next couple songs will be similar to "Of the Abyss" and "And I Return to Nothingness"...

Beartooth - "Sunshine!" from Sunshine! (2023)

5/5. Here's another fantastic single, this one being poppy metalcore! Beartooth is where I prefer to get that sound rather than Falling in Reverse. A f***ing killer song to love!

Premonitions of War - "Correspondences" from The True Face of Panic (2002)

4.5/5. This one has some of the most metal blast-beats I've heard from a metal/hardcore band. The deathgrind sound has some abstract chords, opening a wide tunnel with devastating chaos at its end.

Earth Crisis - "Born From Pain" from Destroy the Machines (1995)

5/5. Up next is this introspective blast of heavy weight in the music and lyrics. It was also recently covered by Eighteen Visions in their own cover album.

Code Orange - "I Am King" from I Am King (2014)

4.5/5. This track starts with opening and closing walls of distorted sound before the volume and power increase for their usual hardcore/metalcore.

Shai Hulud - "Outside the Boundaries of a Friend" from Hearts Once Nourished With Hope and Compassion (1997)

5/5. This one has excellent guitar intricacy that would make me say the Owen Wilson "WOW." The perfect devastation comes during the breakdowns in contrast to lightning fast rhythms that sear through.

Strongarm - "Stand Together" from Atonement (1995)

4.5/5. One of my favorites here, with a message of never giving up on grace.

Burst - "Rain" from Prey on Life (2003)

4/5. A beautiful prog-ish metalcore track. What else can I say?

Atreyu - "Ain't Love Grand" from Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (2002)

4.5/5. This song from the band's debut album is greatly addictive! When I was in my late teens, my brother was playing some of his favorite songs on his guitar. This song ain't one of them, but it should've been. I'm barely complaining at all!

Animosity - "Grey Skies" from Shut It Down (2003)

5/5. This nearly 3-minute-long song unleashes the might of their deathcore groove from the two different coasts, even having some Undying-like melody. There isn't anything acoustic, just brutal deathly weight.

Hatebreed - "Not One Truth" from Satisfaction is the Death of Desire (1997)

5/5. One of the best tracks in the playlist, blasting through rebellious lyrics and chorus rhythm.

Cable - "Steel Cage Match" from Variable Speed Drive (1996)

4.5/5. A highlight in which the anger and passion makes up for the slight unpolished mistakes.

Converge - "Homewrecker" from Jane Doe (2001)

5/5. This one cranks the chaos back to full throttle. It is a definitely a killer standout in everything from the lyrics to the vocals and instruments with higher versatility than bands like Botch. There's some more brilliant guitar work and drumming. The brilliant chorus kick a** with drums, riffs, and vocal howls that can really wreck your home if you play it at full blast.

Zao - "Lies of Serpents, a River of Tears" from Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest (1998)

5/5. Continuing that metallic direction is this awesome track, especially in the guitar duo's atonal riffing.

Ice Nine Kills - "Thank God It's Friday" from The Silver Scream (2018)

4.5/5. This song continues the tempo and execution in epic chaotic atmosphere

All That Remains - "Victory Lap" from The Order of Things (2015)

5/5. This is another heavy rock/alt-metal anthem with easier instrumentation. It's actually the song that got me into this band, thanks to my brother who also likes this band (he likes metalcore as well but when it's closer to his usual hard rock/alt-metal taste).

Trivium - "Catastrophist" from What the Dead Men Say (2020)

5/5. There are some risks that end up paying off greatly, such as a radio-friendly singalong chorus. Then at the halfway mark, the mosh pit opens with a face-tearing assault. The furious drumming is what keeps everything together and not fall out of place.

Eighteen Visions - "Prelude to an Epic/Flowers for Ingrid" from Until the Ink Runs Out (2000)

4.5/5. The first part is an epic intro that sounds the intro for one of the songs by Brandan Schieppati's main band Bleeding Through, especially in the background keyboards. Then the second part has the band's usual metalcore.

Prayer for Cleansing - "A Dead Soul Born" from Rain in Endless Fall (1999)

5/5. This one attacks with fantastic black-metalcore that makes you forget that some of these guys are from BTBAM.

Celldweller, The Browning - "A Matter of Time - The Browning Remix" from A Matter of Time (The Browning Remix) (2019)

5/5. A heavy DOOM-style death/metalcore remix of a Celldweller song! If The Browning and Celldweller ever tour together, they should definitely perform this remix live. Although there are a couple slow djenty deathcore breakdowns, at the two-minute mark is a different kind of breakdown, one of aggrotech adrenaline. Total electronic fire! Celldweller has also remixed one of Asking Alexandria's songs. I guess you can consider this remix industrial djenty death/metalcore. I definitely prefer to find electronics in metal rather than pop. This certainly is heavier than Metallica has ever gone, or even Slipknot. I f***ing love this collaboration. The vocals range from brutal to clean, as does the instrumentation enhanced by The Browning in a battle between life and death. Would you believe that this is the same Celldweller that made the 2003 debut? Well... Yes and no! That's how absolutely precious this is.

Despised Icon - "Bad Vibes" from Beast (2016)

4.5/5. "YOU GIVE ME BAD VIBES!" Totally killer deathcore right there.

Impending Doom - "Deceiver" from Baptized in Filth (2012)

5/5. Same with this one, but guess what, this band is Christian! You might find it hard to believe how bad-a** the song is, especially over the two-minute mark, but that's what they are. The vocalist has great range, not just deathly low. And they said Christianity and death metal/core don't mix...

The Word Alive - "The Fortune Teller" from Real (2014)

4.5/5. Start off from the intro that sounds like the beginning of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face", this is a catchy song to jam along to, all the way to the perfect outro. This album Real is filled with solid favorites. The solo at the 3-minute mark is one of the sick performed by Zack Hansen. The lyrics are well thought-put and have deep meaning for your lost struggles, "Here I am now, am I all alone?" Towards the end of the bridge, there's a bit of a Staind vibe, but the song definitely sounds more like Architects than Staind.

Parkway Drive - "Bottom Feeder" from Ire (2015)

4/5. The heaviness returns with a "GO!!" in this mid-paced anthem, starting with an interesting 30-second riff intro. The guitars, drums, and vocals are all in interesting interplay, especially in the gang chorus that makes that song a phenomenal track.

Mouthbreather - "Born Dead" from Pig (2017)

3.5/5. Interesting submission, Daniel. This is actually one of only two tracks I like from this EP, having Daughters-like early 2000s mathcore I prefer.

Any Given Day - "Never Surrender" from Overpower (2019)

4/5. This one sounds a bit like Five Finger Death Punch mixed with 2000s Killswitch Engage. Still it's quite bad-A! Anyone who grew up in the 80s can enjoy Megadeth, but it's the more modern bands I'm looking out for. The chorus almost reminds me of Linkin Park. My favorite song from this band besides "Savior"!

Convictions - "Wreckage" from I Won't Survive (2021)

4.5/5. Another well-done killer metalcore track! That's all I gotta say there.

Sienna Skies - "Quarterlife" from A Darker Shade of Truth (2016)

4/5. I also like this one, though the mixing could've better. Next!

Living Sacrifice - "Apostasy" from The Infinite Order (2010)

4.5/5. As we approach the end of this playlist, here's an epic song that reminds me of Trivium's "The Shadow of the Abattoir".

Gaza - "Not With All the Hope in the World" from No Absolutes in Human Suffering (2012)

4/5. Let's end this with a relentless doomy swansong for this band's career. "It's the same noise every day, we walk back and forth".

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite some bumpiness near the end. Anyway, I sure would recommend this to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but is up to getting into a great start for the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I can find as much alternative metal as industrial metal in this Waltari album. A lot of the catchy mainstream melody and experimentation of alt-metal can be found in many of the tracks. So I'd like to submit Waltari's "Space Avenue" to the Hall to be added to the Gateway.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I consider Red Harvest's 1992 debut to be a blend of progressive metal and technical thrash. There is plenty of atmosphere, complexity, dissonance, and experimentation to make up the progressive side of the album. So I'd like to submit Red Harvest's "Nomindsland" to the Hall to be added to The Infinite as progressive metal. I'd also like to encourage Pit members to vote in the technical thrash metal subgenre tag.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I've passed this nomination as these releases no longer qualify for inclusion in The Revolution.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Ben, please add these new releases:

The Acacia Strain - Step Into the Light

The Amity Affliction - Not Without My Ghosts

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

By sheer coincidence two of this month's feature releases are from a couple of the first new bands I got into after returning to the bosom of metal brotherhood following a hiatus for most of the Nineties. One was Fear Factory and the other was Amorphis. I heard Black Winter Day somewhere (probably on a Metal Hammer cover disc) and was impressed by it's combination of death metal sensibilities and folky atmosphere. I obtained copies of Thousand Lakes, Elegy and Tuonela and they were all on regular rotation back in Sonnyville. 2001's Am Universum was a bit of a damp squib for me, however and eventually my love for Amorphis waned as I dived further down the extreme metal rabbit hole and I haven't listened to them a whole lot since the mid-2000s other than the odd track from Thousand Lakes, so this review will be a bit like catching up with an old friend and finding out what they have been up to since last we met.

Well, it would be wrong to say they haven't changed a bit, but I would have to admit that they have aged very well. I thought that by 2015 they would have become more technical and progressive than they actually were and I suspected that they wouldn't appeal to me that much, but I actually found Under the Red Cloud to be a very enjoyable and accessible slab of metal. Melodic death and folk metal are combined in an alchemical formula that shouldn't appeal to me in the slightest, but in the Finns' capable hands become an exceedingly palatable cocktail. I don't think I can praise the songwriting highly enough, for them to be able to combine genres I normally run a mile from into such an addictive release is testament to their songwriting skill. The folk metal element is quite prominent, but even so it never even hints at the cheesiness that so dogs the genre in other, less skilled hands, but makes complete sense in the context of this album and it is hard to imagine how it could exist without it. There are a couple of tracks where this element really transforms the melodic death metal skeleton of the tracks into something special, the oriental-flavoured Death of A King and Enemy At the Gates with it's exotic Middle-Eastern atmospherics and brilliant keyboard work. One track that made me smile was Tree of Ages, not because of any inherent cheesiness, but because the irish whistle featured sounds a lot like that featured in Aussie punk's The Rumjack's An Irish Pub Song - a track I love for it's vitality and catchy Irish theme. Amorphis have always been skilled performers and their performances on Under the Red Cloud are terrific, Tomi Joutsen's superb death growl / clean dual vocal attack, Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari's riffing and excellent leads, the layering of Santeri Kallio's keyboards and the faultless rhythms laid down by drummer Jan Rechberger and bassist Niclas Etelävuori underpinning everything the band does, are all absolutely top-notch.

There are several guest musicians featured on Under the Red Cloud, all of whom's contributions add a sheen that raises the album above the crowd, not least the much-lamented Aleah Stanbridge who contributes female vocals to three tracks, most noticeably official album closer, White Night. The Österäng Symphonic Orchestra are also featured and I don't think their contributions can be underestimated either, lending the album a sumptuousness that lifts it above the mundane.

All-in-all I loved Under the Red Cloud and it just seems to get better with each subsequent listen. I'm really glad Andi nominated it for this month's feature (thanks Andi) as it has allowed me to catch up with an old friend and to realise that I have actually missed them over the intervening years. I'll have to backtrack over their discography now and see what other marvels they have produced over the last twenty years or so.


Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I've been getting a bit lackadaisical of late with feature releases and have only been listening to those from my chosen clans, so I have vowed to start listening to them all, even if I don't review all of them and first up is this month's Revolution representative, Gaza's second album He Is Never Coming Back. I did check out their debut, I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die, when it was a feature release a couple of years back and I fucking hated it. Consequently, this didn't fill me with a huge amount of enthusiasm for the sophomore and I can't lie, I nearly always struggle with The Revolution and it's metal/mathcore content. That said, I did get much more out of this than I expected to. I still struggle with the vocals as they (in common with so many whatever-core releases) often sound like a toddler having a temper tantrum in Tesco's (a steroid-fuelled, 220lb toddler admittedly, but still!) I did enjoy a large proportion of the musical content however, maybe because the sludge component is more prevalent here than on the debut, or maybe because it feels a bit more accomplished than the earlier release. Whichever way, I wouldn't go out of my way to obtain a copy, but if it was on I wouldn't switch it off either and I think I would enjoy it a whole lot more with a less shout-y vocalist (but I guess that is what The Revolution is all about). A couple of tracks grabbed my attention - the main riff of The Meat of a Leg Joint is brilliant and the epic-sounding, although short, instrumental piece that follows it, The Astronomer, is a gorgeous and portentious-sounding piece. The lengthy, unnamed closer, or hidden track if you will, appeals to my Fallen sensibilities with it's serene and measured build-up and is reminiscent of the likes of Neurosis, proving that Gaza don't have to be super-intense all the time, which is no bad thing (and it has no vocals). Overall, He Is Never Coming Back had some really good moments and I like the overarching structure with the instrumental interludes breaking up the super-intensity of the main tracks, so this is probably as good as it gets for me and The Revolution and as such I would probably have to call it a success.

On a side note, does anyone know if this is this a concept album with the connecting instrumental tracks having intellectual/scientific occupation names?


Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

1. Gateway playlist - 4.5/5 (number of songs commented: ALL 22)

3. Infinite playlist - 4.5/5 (number of songs commented: 10)

4. Revolution playlist - 4.5/5 (number of songs commented: ALL 27)

5. Sphere playlist - 4/5 (number of songs commented: ALL 27)

For the clans I've made the monthly playlists for, along with the one for the Gateway, I've listened to the entire playlists! I'm grateful to Saxy and Daniel for their playlist works. I really dig the tracks I've reviewed in the Infinite playlists made by Saxy, and I'm glad all those other playlists I've reviewed paid off. I recommend them to any fan of the clans' respective genres and anyone who isn't into those genres but wants to get into a great start in enjoying them. Thanks, Daniel, for accepting these playlists, and good work all!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

The new Klone album is more than just alt-rock/metal. There's quite some progressiveness going on in aspects such as the complex structures and frequent time signature changes, enough for the album to be deemed progressive metal. So I'd like to submit Klone's "Meanwhile" to the Hall to be added to The Infinite while staying in The Gateway.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Psyclon Nine - "Bellum in Abyssus" from Crwn Thy Frnicatr (2006)

4/5. An interesting noise-ish intro with the "Liberate Te Ex Inferis" sample from Event Horizon (y'know, the one used in a couple songs by metalcore bands Every Time I Die and Zao). Psyclon Nine is an awesome band, and even a couple of their late 2000s albums like Crwn Thy Frnicatr have a bit of metal in them.

Author & Punisher - "Drone Carrying Dread" from Krüller (2022)

3.5/5. This track kicks off the brutal extreme doom before a gradual switch to atmospheric post-metal. This hallucinogenic dreamscape adds to the sharp weight of the work without much change in direction.

Pitchshifter - "Deconstruction" from Submit (1992)

4/5. This one is a different highlight with gravelly vocals and repetitive guitar, hinting at their next album. A sure sign of leaving behind their Godflesh influences.

Samael - "Rebellion" from Rebellion (1995)

4.5/5. A song useful for conquering doubtful situations in war and rebellion. "I know how little is the value of that which has a price." 1995/1996 were the years were Samael were transitioning from black metal to symphonic industrial metal. They were the kind of rising band metalheads at the time needed instead of Korn.

Gothminister - "Swallowed by the Earth" from Empire of Dark Salvation (2005)

5/5. This is a more atmospheric highlight. I wouldn't say it's as atmospheric as bands like The Ocean, but I'm referring specifically to Halfface's keyboard atmosphere, along with wild soloing from those synths.

Lard - "I Wanna Be a Drug-Sniffing Dog" from Pure Chewing Satisfaction (1997)

4.5/5. Another true classic that I would rate slightly higher than the first 4 tracks of the playlist. Just don't sing it out loud if you don't want your parents worried.

Circle of Dust - "Parasite" from Circle of Dust (1995)

5/5. It's only been last year since I first heard Circle of Dust and became interested in one of Klayton's projects. An awesome piece of industrial rock/metal greatness! It's almost like a sequel to this album's intro "Exploration".

Excessive Force - "Queen Bitch" from Gentle Death (1993)

4.5/5. Fast forward to this track where one of the vocalists Liz Torres shines through fast techno rage. Silly yet fun!

Nine Inch Nails - "Fist Fuck" from Fixed (1992)

4/5. The second remix for "Wish" has samples of Timothy Leary. I actually love it better than the first remix!

Fear Factory - "Martyr - Suffer Bastard Mix" from Fear is the Mind Killer (1993)

4.5/5. Another remix, and one the way it's supposed to sound, more industrial while staying metal. Fear Factory can really maintain their extreme industrial metal in these remixes. H*ll, this is probably close to proto-cyber metal! A great throwback for longtime Fear Factory fans.

Strapping Young Lad - "AAA" from City (1997)

5/5. F***ing h*ll, this is brilliant groove-ish industrial metal, right from the sick intro. One of my favorites from one of the first industrial metal bands that I've encountered and truly like. Need some batteries for this grand song? The riff near the 3-minute mark has massive f***ing heaviness for half a minute, then this killer sh*t really goes off. Now imagine singing along to this in the bus, annoying the other passengers. "No one hears so no one knows and... NO ONE! NO ONE F***S WITH MEEEE!!!" I guess you can kind of consider this Korn gone Meshuggah.

Godflesh - "Frail" from Songs of Love and Hate (1996)

4.5/5. My favorite song in this album is practically close to post-metal with the ethereal atmosphere. It fits much better in Hymns, but that's my only complaint there.

Old - "Lo Flux Tube" from Lo Flux Tube (1991)

5/5. Incredible electronic noise metal, mixing beautiful peace with distorted war! Some might find this torture, but it's best to listen to with an open mind.

Ministry - "The Land of Rape and Honey" from The Land of Rape and Honey (1988)

4.5/5. This one is a menacing crawler, standing out with its creepy vibe.

Motionless in White - "Sinematic" from Infamous (2012)

4/5. Probably the darkest song here, but of course, dark doesn't always mean heavy. Emotional melody from the keyboards, guitars, and vocals, certainly make the atmosphere more cinematic. Chris continues expanding his clean vocal range, a nice break from the earlier growling.

Contracult Collective - "Plunge" from Plunge (2022)

4.5/5. I love how f***ing sick and heavy this is! Though it's a little too Marilyn Manson-like for me.

Celldweller - "A Matter of Time" from Satellites (2022)

5/5. Techno-rock/metal?!? FANTASTIC!!! Another Celldweller favorite that continues to motivate me to find more of Klayton's projects. Absolutely intriguing!

Pain - "End of the Line" from Rebirth (1999)

5/5. Another one of the best techno-industrial metal songs ever that makes up for more of this Swedish industrial metal project!

Klank - "DFL" from Numb (2000)

4.5/5. Amazing song, but I'm not down for this band. Moving on...

Turmion Kätilöt - "Totuus" from Omen X (2023)

4/5. Hearing this band after listening to some Electric Callboy makes me think too much of that other band. Still, keep it up, guys!

Seth Ect - "B.L.A.S.T" from Godspeak (2011)

4.5/5. Some f***ing extreme industrial/cyber metal insanity right here, holy sh*t!

THE SIN:DECAY - "Deathlike Addiction" from Rehabilitation (2007)

4/5. Another pretty great industrial/cyber metal song, and one that isn't noise ridden.

Dust in Mind - "Empty" from Ctrl (2021)

3.5/5. Kinda like a more industrial Lacuna Coil, with some great groove-ish riffing.

OOMPH! - "Labyrinth" from Monster (2008)

3/5. I didn't realize there is an English version of this song! I would've loved that version more and used it here. D*MN IT!!! This German version is still quite decent though.

Stahlmann - "Hass mich..Lieb mich" from Stahlmann (2010)

3.5/5. This one has more wonders, but not much to write home about. Still not getting the appeal from this band or Rammstein.

Erdling - "Absolutus Rex" from Supernova (2017)

4/5. The vocals here are great, compared to the other two Neue Deutsche Härte songs here.

Deathstars - "Angel of Fortune and Crime" from Angel of Fortune and Crime (2023)

4.5/5. And what better way to end this playlist with another one of the 3 singles from the upcoming Deathstars album Everything Destroys You, their first album in almost a decade! They've really made up for their time away with these singles. It throws back to their earlier Synthetic Generation era! I definitely wants more of this album once it comes out, maybe later this month, when my schedule clears up...

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite a few slight bumps throughout... Anyway, I sure would recommend this to any industrial metal fan and anyone who isn't into industrial metal but is up to getting into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Converge - "First Light" from You Fail Me (2004)

4.5/5. Before the deranged mayhem of this playlist begins, this track is a gentle atmospheric intro.

Nora - "Theneverendingyouline" from Theneverendingyouline (1999)

4/5. This track is the only one from this EP I can stand. The metal riffing and bass crashes in and kicks you hard in the neck. The mix of metal and hardcore punk works well with the tempo. However, the vocals are too harshly twisted and predictable, like the guy's voice is heavily strained.

Parkway Drive - "Gimme AD" from Killing with a Smile (2005)

4.5/5. This one hits you hard with their prevalent attitude of wrath. It has all that listeners can be ready for; fast riffing, solid drumming, fantastic screaming, and heavy breakdowns. They have it all!

All Shall Perish - "Deconstruction" from Hate.Malice.Revenge (2003)

5/5. This intense yet short track has an incredible blend of punishing rhythms, searing guitars, and hyper-fast blast-beats. And the great intensity doesn't stop from there, continuing and increasing throughout.

Electric Callboy - "Pump It" from Tekkno (2022)

4.5/5. A total pumper! You can work out and run a 10K race to this. My brother loves this slightly more than I do though.

Killswitch Engage - "Temple from the Within" from Killswitch Engage (2000)

5/5. Like the movie Michelle Yeoh won the Best Actress award for shortly before this review, everything everywhere all at once kicks through! Without an intro, the instrumentation hits you non-stop. A great mid-paced perfect experience!

Bleeding Through - "Number Seven with a Bullet" from This is Love, This is Murderous (2003)

5/5. This one has the best riffing of this album, possibly the best by the band, with some breakdowns along the way.

Shadows Fall - "Fleshold" from Of One Blood (2000)

4.5/5. Solid extreme metalcore. Need I say more?

The Ghost Inside - "Engine 45" from Get What You Give (2012)

4.5/5. This is the kind of song you need for any crisis you struggle with. This band needs a lot more fame and glory. Let us have the bravery to choose our actions, break these chains, and keep swinging!

The Red Chord - "Catalepsy" from Fused Together in Revolving Doors (2002)

5/5. Next up is this song having some of the fastest brutality, starting awesome in the riffing without ever stopping. Psyopus did a comedic cover of that song as a hidden track for the album Our Puzzling Encounters Considered.

The Acacia Strain - "Doppelganger" from ...And Life is Very Long (2002)

5/5. This without a doubt serves as an intersection between several of the hardcore/metalcore genres from earlier and later bands; the hardcore of Strife, the metalcore/melodic metalcore of August Burns Red and Parkway Drive, and the deathcore of Chelsea Grin. Fantastic!

Avenged Sevenfold - "Remenissions" from Waking the Fallen (2003)

4.5/5. This one is a little darker, unleashing a brutal growl of pummeling drums and sinister guitars, then they slow down for a great thick verse. What really stands out is the perfectly placed drumming and guitar changes. Soon it goes through mid-tempo before blazing through a hardcore onslaught. It's a fantastic listen! I also love that Hispanic-esque segment.

Crisis - "Surviving the Siren" from The Hollowing (1997)

4.5/5. This is the greatest song of its original album, with every one of Karyn Crisis' vocal styles here; operatic singing, monstrous growling, and banshee-like shrieking. The lyrics seem to twist around The Odyssey, specifically the part with the sirens, in which lust can lead to doom. The drumming gets crazier and descends into chaos as the song progresses, and the only light in the darkness is the beautiful chorus sung by Karyn. You really gotta stick around for that song and have it stick to you!

Emmure - "Sons of Medusa" from Sons of Medusa (2021)

5/5. How long has it been since I last heard a song from this band before this one, almost a year? Apparently, it's an outtake from the album Hindsight, released a year earlier. It could've probably served as the album's intro or something. I cannot miss this band in my life!

Motionless in White - "Soft" from Graveyard Shift (2017)

4.5/5. For a song with that title, it's anything but soft. It's a more hardcore song, especially in the vocals that reach death growling, sounding closer to Slipknot. This song is worth headbanging to at loud volume.

Trivium - "A Crisis of Revelation" from In the Court of the Dragon (2021)

4/5. This Ascendancy-style heavy throwback isn't the best highlight of the new Trivium album but still manages to fit well with the other high-quality tracks.

Any Given Day - "Arise" from Everlasting (2016)

4.5/5. You get to hear some more of Trivium frontman Matt Heafy's perfect vocals here, though only his cleans are present because this is at the time with his blown-out voice hadn't completely healed. F***ing epic headbanging riff fire!

The Devil Wears Prada - "Cancer" from Color Decay (2022)

5/5. Such a masterpiece of a song, like a metalcore power ballad! I watched a music video for an earlier song from this band like 8 years ago, and back then I wasn't totally interested because I didn't start enjoying metalcore yet at the time. Now I'm destined to find more of this band! The song was written by keyboardist Jonathan Gering in memory of a late friend of his. RIP

Northlane - "Impulse" from Node (2015)

4.5/5. People weren't keen at first about vocalist Marcus Bridge when he first joined, but he can really bring new sounds to the old, and that's why he's an awesome vocalist! "So alone in a digital world..." Massive heaviness and diversity right here! That's how much I love this band, and the breakdown rules! Structures had also tackled the topic of the truth of the digital age. It can actually fit in the Digimon video games or anime! The sound would've been what would happen if Underoath didn't have their hiatus after Disambiguation and instead took on a more progressive sound before their recent albums.

Attila - "Pizza" from Pizza (2018)

5/5. I sh*t you not, this actually what got me interested in this band. My brother found the music video for this song and thought it was hilarious. I enjoyed the music enough to give this song and band a thumbs-up. Humor and riff-wrath sound amazing together! Now if you don't like pineapple on pizza, just peel it off. Don't go on a breakdown-infused rage like Fronz in the video.

Wage War - "Twenty-One" from Blueprints (2015)

4.5/5. Another modern metalcore song that has made me smile.

Zao - "All Else Failed" from All Else Failed (1995)

5/5. The 12-minute title epic of the band's debut is their longest track, and one of the longest metalcore epics I've ever encountered. They unleash everything that they can in the first 8 minutes, then after a one-minute break, a 3-minute acoustic ending plays, along with a bit of clean vocals. Epic!

The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Sick on Sunday" from Ire Works (2007)

4.5/5. This one is more experimental, basically heavy breakbeat electro-grind.

Iwrestledabearonce - "Deodorant Can't Fix Ugly" from Ruining It for Everybody (2011)

4.5/5. A very chilling song with amazing vocals by Krysta Cameron who I wish could've been with the band longer, no hate for Courtney LaPlante.

Car Bomb - "Infinite Sun" from Meta (2016)

5/5. This track summarizes all this band has done. Cleans and screams collide as riffs blow your mind. In the middle is some Deftones-like rock before ending with the heaviest djent workout.

Memphis May Fire - "The Redeemed" from The Hollow (2011)

4.5/5. Another track I really like. It motivates you to leave behind the past and move on to the future, all in positive self-empowerment for your life. There's a bit of a link between this band and Christianity. The song is quite excellent, and it can encourage you to fight back against the criticism you might receive for your religion or lifestyle. Despite nothing being eternal, you gotta do what's right for all that's temporary. Anything can and will happen. In a way, this foreshadows what the band would have next in Challenger. Other bands that might have a similar sound and message include Imminence.

Shadow of Intent - "The Tartarus Impalement" from Reclaimer (2017)

4/5. Well, after that metalcore song of motivation comes one more song, of symphonic deathcore destruction and despair. It starts a bit mundane in the first 4 minutes, then the epicness rises at over the 4-minute mark with such great music, lyrics, and vocals. "And I'll never see home again, never comfort my wife as she mourns and I'll never hear the cries of my firstborn son, How can I possibly continue on?!" F***ing d*mn, man! Pure beauty and emotion rolls on throughout that minute. Then comes another amazing minute where the band work together to unleash their power in battle. The final climax goes on the last one and a half minute and the hero impales the enemy and rules in victory. Talk about such a finale for this playlist! Though it probably would've been better in the first half...

HOLY SH*T, this is probably close to the best metalcore playlist I've ever done, with every track ranging from 4.5 to 5 stars, except for a few tracks in the beginning, middle, and end forming a small bump. I sure would recommend this to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

So as some of you might know, I volunteered to help set up a couple of the monthly Guardians playlists while Xephyr was on break to prepare for his professional engineering exam. He just finished that exam and made his return to the site, so he already submitted his feature release submissions and his Guardians playlist for May, the latter can be found here:

However, I already created my own Guardians playlist for May before Daniel told me that Xephyr already had his covered, and I enjoy what I made so much that I still felt like sharing it. It's like the "epic conclusion" finale of a trilogy, similar to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Please feel free to give my playlist a listen, but make sure you prioritize Xephyr's playlist because he's the official creator of The Guardians playlists and a true professional of that clan. I can probably write a 3-part saga based on the Guardians playlists I've made including this unofficial one. Well, Xephyr, in the words of that demon from the beginning of Slayer's Hell Awaits, WELCOME BACK!!!

(I'm not gonna do the graphics or track thoughts for this playlist, since it's unofficial)


1. Queensryche - "Queen of the Reich" from Queensryche (1983)

2. Freedom Call - "Freedom Call" from Crystal Empire (2001) [submitted by Shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

3. Skid Row - "Slave to the Grind" from Slave to the Grind (1991)

4. Judas Priest - "A Touch of Evil" from Painkiller (1988)

5. Dio - "Stand Up and Shout" from Holy Diver (1983)

6. Motorhead - "Overkill" from Overkill (1979)

7. Quiet Riot - "Party All Night" from Condition Critical (1984)

8. Dokken - "Burning Like a Flame" from Back for the Attack (1987)

9. Keel - "The Right to Rock" from The Right to Rock (1985)

10. Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It" from Stay Hungry (1984)

11. W.A.S.P. - "Scream Until You Like It" from Live... In the Raw (1987)

12. Vinnie Moore - "Mind's Eye" from Mind's Eye (1986)

13. Yngwie J. Malmsteen - "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget" from Trilogy (1986) [submitted by Daniel]

14. Time Requiem - "Brutal Mentor" from Time Requiem (2002)

15. Savatage - "Morphine Child" from Poets and Madmen (2001)

16. Black Veil Brides - "Saviour II" from The Mourning (2022)

17. Trivium - "Endless Night" from The Sin and the Sentence (2017)

18. Powerwolf - "Army of the Night" from Blessed & Possessed (2015)

19. Sabaton - "Dreadnought" from The War to End All Wars (2022)

20. Rhapsody of Fire - "Glory for Salvation" from Glory for Salvation (2021)

21. Kamelot - "Eventide" from The Awakening (2023)

22. Nightwish - "Bye Bye Beautiful" from Dark Passion Play (2007)

23. Edenbridge - "The Call of Eden" from Shangri-La (2022)

24. Xandria - "Eversleeping" from Ravenheart (2004)

25. Within Temptation - "The Truth Beneath the Rose" from The Heart of Everything (2007)

26. Dragonland - "Oblivion" from The Power of the Nightstar (2022)

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

To my ears "Pig" is a metalcore/mathcore hybrid in roughly equal portions. I can only find about 30 seconds of grindcore influence on the whole release to be honest & even then it's only an influence rather than a primary sound. I wouldn't even go for a grindcore secondary subgenre on this one so I'm afraid it'll be a NO vote from me.

I've just posted this nomination in the Hall of Judgement too.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I've done my review, here's its summary:

In order for a metal band to add a techno-dance into their mix, they need to put some effort in smooth rhythm and quick flowing beat, and The Kovenant have achieved that perfectly. Although I love the earlier black metal Covenant era, I'm better suited in the industrial-techno metal sound of The Kovenant. You can think of this as Children of Bodom gone Rammstein! Most of the first 4 songs here are probably some of the best industrial/cyber metal for me. Those tracks have epic-sounding techno-symphonic synths mixed with heavy guitars, strong beats, Filthy shrieks (get the pun?), and female operatic cleans. The rest of the album is excellent as well, with a couple tracks showing the band experimenting with small sections that don't relate to the music or lyrics. I would recommend this cyber metal masterpiece, especially most of the first 4 tracks, to fans of this industrial metal subgenre they pioneered. A true future-shaper!


Recommended tracks: "Mirror's Paradise", "New World Order", "Sindrom", "Prophecies of Fire", "The Birth of Tragedy"

For fans of: Deathstars, Rammstein, Samael

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

The Septicflesh nomination is no longer relevant as we've now moved that release onto the brand new Symphonic Death Metal subgenre.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Samael - "Year Zero" from Eternal (1999)

4.5/5. Beginning the playlist in shining light, this is excellent high-quality loud industrial metal!

Strapping Young Lad - "S.Y.L." from Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995)

5/5. For those familiar with Devin Townsend's solo material, get ready to hear where his journey began! Holy sh*t, this is angry energy to make fans of industrial metal happy. It's quite genius how you can hear toddler Devy present his own play in the intro and then teen Devy as an A&W employee in the outro. Strapping Young Lad and Meshuggah are the two go-to bands for metal's heavy intensity in the 90s.

Dead World - "Lies" from The Machine (1993)

4.5/5. This one is slower with a similar formula. Instead of being aggressive, the sound is cold and dreamy. I prefer the previous two tracks slightly more.

Circle of Dust - "Descend" from Brainchild (1994)

5/5. Brainchild is one of the best albums I've heard from any of Klayton's projects, and it slowly gives me the incentive to check out his later more famous project Celldweller. He made quite a brave statement for America in that 1994 Circle of Dust album. The future of America is the country citizen's hands...

Code Orange - "Drowning In It" from What is Really Underneath? (2023)

4.5/5. Code Orange has recently taken the Ministry/Nine Inch Nails route of producing a remix album. The album is mostly electro-industrial, but some tracks like this remix to the title track of Underneath still maintain a bit of that album's heaviness while being mainly electronic. I think Korn should go that route to make some of their songs less boring. But this ain't Korn, this is Code Orange FOREVER!!!

Ministry - "Burning Inside" from In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up (1990)

4/5. I don't normally add live tracks to the playlists, but I thought this would be a good exception. This one kicks in a propulsive beat and repetitive guitar to keep you awake. This pounding tune is helped out by the vocals. When I wrote this review after waking up this morning, this song fired me up way more than coffee!

Lard - "Pineapple Face" from The Last Temptation of Reid (1990)

4.5/5. Now this is a f***ing mindblower, keeping up the speed of the first track, though there's a slow psychedelic chorus that nonsensical but genius. The crazy political lyrics are odd yet having a deep meaning. Another track that you wanna keep around until the end of time!

Omega Lithium - "Dance With Me" from Kinetik (2011)

4/5. A pretty great song to enjoy for some of this band's gothic industrial metal sound.

Nine Inch Nails - "Last" from Broken (1992)

3.5/5. This one adds a slower twist into the riffing that's like a more distorted metal take on Pretty Hate Machine, and then crossing over to a hint at The Downward Spiral.

Godflesh - "Mothra" from Pure (1992)

4/5. This song has groove-powered industrial metal riffing that's never out of place. It's so special and different, and that's the key for the style of Godflesh. Justin's vocals are up to the highest standard, but the riffing is the right priority.

Pitchshifter - "Triad" from Desensitized (1993)

4.5/5. This is an impressive hymn with catchy rhythm. It kind of hints at their later dance-y material while staying in their earlier heaviness. This kind of blend really works in songs like that!

Old - "Happy Tantrum" from The Musical Dimensions of Sleastak (1993)

5/5. Sounds like an outtake from Lo Flux Tube, but a great improvement from there. It's another one of my favorite tracks in this album, with absolutely no filler. The experimentation actually sounds catchier than that of the mathy metalcore of Coalesce.

Voivod - "Phobos" from Phobos (1997)

4.5/5. One of only a couple songs from this album that I would consider industrial metal, sounding suitable for a Star Wars scenario. Still this is spacey progressive metal that has much more in common with Watchtower than Megadeth or Soundgarden. There's some h*lla nice soloing from Denis "Piggy" D'Amour (RIP). That song is so d*mn great, it's out of this world!

Celldweller - "My Disintegration" from Satellites (2022)

5/5. 10 tracks after that Circle of Dust one, we get to hear the metallic vibes of that band added to the electronic rock of Klayton's current project Celldweller. However, starting the second half is a softer ambient section similar to Offworld. The rest of the song has a prime example of perfect heaviness that I need to make up for Strapping Young Lad's dissolvement. Worth some satisfying metal listening to make you up for some more disintegration!

Gothminister - "Bloodride" from Pandemonium (2022)

4.5/5. Then we have this sensational song that can make you as thirsty for blood as a vampire.

Dawn of Ashes - "Blood of the Titans" from The Antimonian (2020)

4/5. So unreal yet cool! There's black-ish industrial metal magic more destructive than Combichrist. Almost as brutal as Psyclon Nine!

Fear Factory - "Linchpin" from Digimortal (2001)

4.5/5. You just gotta f***ing love this album Digimortal, in which the band add a bit of the Dry Kill Logic-style hardcore nu metal into their industrial metal in better execution. The lyrics are totally worth singing along to.

Motionless in White - "Reincarnate" from Reincarnate (2014)

5/5. The title track and first single of this album has some deep synths and metalcore riffing that begin when Chris shouts "GET UP!". What really makes this song accessible within the extremeness is the melodic Breaking Benjamin-like chorus, all piecing together a simply great structure.

Combichrist - "Compliance" from Compliance (2021)

4.5/5. OK, I spoke too soon. This is Combichrist at its heaviest since the songs by the band from the previous two Sphere playlists. This is dark atmospheric industrial metal to get you prepared for the violence of the rest of this decade. So join the fight against compliance in this piece of aggrotech metal!

Illidiance - "Critical Damage" from Damage Theory (2010)

4/5. Oh my d*mn, this cyber metal is like Blood Stain Child with less emphasis on symphonics and the In Flames/Scar Symmetry-like melodeath. This song is underrated and I don't wanna miss out on more of this style. As great as this is, I'm not too heavily attached. The most awesome part here is the final chorus that changes its key for the final repeat. Thumbs up for this greatness!

Logical Terror, Soilwork - "The World Was Mine" from Ashes of Fate (2016)

3.5/5. Pretty good and underrated. Not too bad, though the guest vocals by Bjorn Speed Strid of Soilwork could use some improvement.

KMFDM - "Brute" from Nihil (1995)

4/5. This song, named after the cover artist of almost every other KMFDM album, is more brutal while staying melodic.


3.5/5. Now here's some 90s synthwave-esque industrial metal in this band's cover of a Foster the People single. I got other metalized popular song covers to enjoy though.

Terminal Choice - "Kommerz" from Ubermacht (2010)

3/5. "Four sounds are better than three, why don't you spend all your money for TC?" Eh, no thanks. Though this one's still kind of decent.

Megaherz - "5. Marz" from Herzwerk II (2002)

3.5/5. Seems like Megaherz is moving along quite strongly throughout the 20 years since this song's release. It sounds a bit good with those Deftones vibes.

The Kovenant - "The Memory Remains" from SETI (2003)

4/5. Now let's end this playlist with a cover that's greater than the original. The operatic background vocals I love much better than what sounds like old lady chanting in the original Metallica song. Very cool!

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite a few slight bumps throughout... Anyway, I sure would recommend this to any industrial metal fan and anyone who isn't into industrial metal but is up to getting into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Lorna Shore - "To the Hellfire" from ...And I Return to Nothingness (2021)

5/5. Although this brutal opener appeared in Daniel's final Revolution playlist before I started taking over a year and a half ago, I felt ready to once again comment on this song that was previously too intense for me. I'm glad I can stand the deathcore intensity now with this second round. This is perhaps the discovery of deathcore for many listeners, probably including my brother, perhaps from the breakdown alone, which we'll get to soon. It's incredible how rapidly the song's video gained millions of views. The entire band's talent is also beyond incredible, with Ramos taking the front stage with his vocal rage. From this opener, you get the greatest taste of operatic/demonic black-ish deathcore. It's so amazing and better appreciated with headphones. It's hard to believe that this furious breakdown is what caused my bro to convert from alt-metal/pop-punk into full-on epic deathcore right off the bat, but that's what happened. It occurs 5 minutes into the track after some speed metal soloing, with the consuming line of "Swallowed by the womb of death!!!" You would also hear the most demonic shrieks ever! This breakdown is such a f***ing ride with nothing dramatic to precede it.

We Came as Romans - "Intentions" from To Plant a Seed (2009)

4.5/5. RIP Kyle Pavone. His heartful lyrics and beautiful clean vocals are what keep songs like this inspiring since its release. The drumming is also quite creative. All that and the symphonic breakdown add to the song's superb power.

36 Crazyfists - "We Gave It Hell" from The Tide and Its Takers (2008)

4.5/5. This one's super cool. You might think I would listen to this in my high-school-age teens, but NAH. My metal interest was much different back then.

Sikth - "Peep Show" from The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild (2003)

5/5. A brilliant song from a band I can't believe I only just recently discovered. The lyrics are definitely what I love here! The band can take on the beautiful and raging sides coming from the two vocalists in diverse range. The song fits hauntingly well with the autism that I have. I think it can help autistics like myself find pride and hope. The band would go on hiatus after their second album, but I'm glad they returned with more material. The lyrics might sound harsh to some, and I mean the lyrics do sound a bit emo, while still being meaningful, but they're still as awesome as the music. But if anyone tries to harshly put them down, let them know that they have a "flawed opinion".

From Autumn to Ashes - "The After Dinner Payback" from The Fiction We Live (2003)

4.5/5. Another song that needs to be heard more! The singing is so emotional, balancing out with the killer growls. I'm a couple f***ing decades late for when the early 2000s metalcore/post-hardcore scene was rolling, but better late than never. I just love those screams, f*** those who hate it. Too bad the screamer Benjamin Perri left the band before their 4th album and last before their hiatus. Still I'm glad those screams add to the song's heavy aspect.

Motionless in White - "Slaughterhouse" from Scoring the End of the World (2022)

4.5/5. This is a f***ing heavy fun track, featuring Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose. He and Chris Motionless do perfect vocal alternation in the brutal bad-a** breakdowns, alongside political lyrics, "In the land of the free you’re a slave to your wealth". The chorus is slightly out-of-place within the heaviness, but still enjoyable.

Despised Icon - "Absolu" from Consumed by Your Poison (2002)

5/5. An absolute highlight of early deathcore hellfire!

Make Them Suffer - "Maelstrom" from Neverbloom (2012)

5/5. This is an absolute f***ing storm of epic and extreme, and I'm not saying it like a brown-nosing fanboy. This is more true epic deathcore power! A breakdown here might seem simple but it's another one of the most powerful in the album. It is the second of the three 6 and a half minute epics. Once again, the lyrics are so poetic that they can be published as poetry without the music. Those beautiful poetic lyrics are brutalized by the powerful screams of lead vocalist Sean Harmanis with a mighty voice ranging from black metal shrieks to death metal growls. The guitar work here is incredible too. The drumming is great, but it drowns out the bass.

All That Remains - "Become the Catalyst" from The Fall of Ideals (2006)

4.5/5. This one starts with a death growl, fast melodeath riffs, and a simple drum beat. Still the usual fast riffs and drumming, catchy chorus and solos, etc.

Upon This Dawning - "Embrace the Evil" from We Are All Sinners (2014)

4.5/5. Blasting dark metalcore to level up this playlist. I wish this band would be more well-known.

The Amity Affliction - "The Weigh Down" from Let the Ocean Take Me (2014)

5/5. I remember seeing the music video for this song on TV 8 years ago, but I wasn't ready for the noise of metalcore at the time. Now I am, and I'm certainly ready for more of this band! Man, remembering what I found all those years ago makes me feel old, even though I'm currently in my young 20s.

Killswitch Engage - "Eye of the Storm" from As Daylight Dies (2006)

5/5. I also remember this band from around the time that I first saw that Amity Affliction music video, and once again this high-quality melodic metalcore sound hits me much more than it would've back then.

As I Lay Dying - "A Greater Foundation" from Awakened (2012)

5/5. This band I've haven't encountered as early as those two previous bands, but now I recognize their greatness. There's clean vocal insanity to stay in your mind long. The lyrics are so cool! The instrumentation has a bit of a Machine Vibe, though much better performed.

Any Given Day - "Possession" from My Longest Way Home (2014)

4.5/5. I heard my brother listening to this song in one of our car rides last month, and my mind was hooked! Before my brother started listening to this song and a couple others from Any Given Day, the only song I heard from that band was their cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds". For this song, the music is so hammering. This is amazing killer sh*t right here! It was certainly f***ing worth leveling up our city drives. The breakdown at the one-and-a-half minute mark is a brutal surprise. Though the one that occurs two minutes later is legendary, like holy sh*t! Then it all ends with a fading ambient outro.

Candiria - "Temple of Sickness" from The Process of Self-Development (1999)

4.5/5. At over the 4-minute mark is a brutal slam-core breakdown, then a minute later, the vocals reach death-growling while having the mid-paced metalcore of Cold as Life.

The Acacia Strain - "One Thousand Painful Stings" from Slow Decay (2020)

5/5. Destructive deathcore groove with soft pretty vocals from Courtney LaPlante (ex-Iwrestledabearonce, Spiritbox). Keep it up, Acacia!

Asking Alexandria - "I Won't Give In" from The Black (2016)

4.5/5. The dark ages of this band's career are translated into this song with defiant choruses.

108 - "Son of Nanda" from Songs of Separation (1995)

3/5. This song has the best lyrics here of chasing dreams built on emptiness, "Worship the Son of Nanda sweet and become fearless".

Eighteen Visions - "Motionless in White" from The Best Of (2001)

3.5/5. It's so interesting how one of my favorite metalcore bands Motionless in White is named after this song from another one of my favorite bands. Not just any band, but one versatile enough to inspired a new legion of the genre! This song is not really one of the best from this band though.

Wage War - "Godspeed" from Manic (2021)

4/5. D*mn, this one is good and crazy! However, as metal as the song sounds, the clean vocals sound a bit too pop-punky.

Defiler - "Fanueil Falls" from A Deity Depraved (2021)

4.5/5. High-quality ambient metalcore. Enough said!

All Shall Perish - "The Death Plague" from This Is Where It Ends (2011)

5/5. I only discovered All Shall Perish a few months ago, and already I f***ing miss them! An amazing blend of brutal vocals and fantastic guitar, bass, and drums makes this band one of the top 10 of deathcore for me. It would be great if they could continue with a new album. This band can be f***ing creative while staying brutal. In my opinion, this band is more tolerable than Hate Eternal and lightyears better than Suicide Silence. Deathcore is an interesting solid genre that I think shouldn't be hit with so much hate.

Will Haven - "I've Seen My Fate" from El Diablo (1997)

5/5. The grand highlight of this band's debut has the band's signature violence.

The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Widower" from Option Paralysis (2010)

4.5/5. This one has a more open free structure and is one of the band's rare ballads with Greg Puciato's vast vocals alongside piano performed by Mike Garson, best known for performing in some of David Bowie's albums. Then the impulsive riff-barrage returns towards the end.

The Chariot - "The King" from Long Live (2010)

5/5. This one is a 6-minute long epic, a bit like a more experimental heavy Underoath, whose producer Matt Goldman help recorded this album in a live analog technique.

Electric Callboy - "Tekkno Train" from Tekkno (2022)

4.5/5. All aboard!!! This is a train of techno-metalcore innuendo!

Deadguy - "Apparatus" from Fixation on a Co-Worker (1995)

4.5/5. There's rapid metal complexity all over this amazing yet short track.

Zao - "Man in Cage Jack Wilson" from Liberate Te Ex Inferis (1999)

5/5. I'm sure there are over a dozen notable people with that name mentioned in the title. It starts with an Event Horizon sample that includes the original album's eponymous phrase. It's the same sample as the one heard in the beginning of "Prom Song" from Every Time I Die's debut EP and the intro "Bellum in Abyssus" from Psyclon Nine's Crwn Thy Frnicatr. For this song, we have a dark yet beautiful 7-minute sludgy metalcore Crusade to end this playlist.

HOLY SH*T, this is probably close to the best metalcore playlist I've ever done, with every track ranging from 4.5 to 5 stars, except for a few tracks in the middle forming a small bump. I sure would recommend this to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Xephyr won't be back in Metal Academy until next month due to his professional engineering exam, so once again I helped assemble the Guardians playlist, and I might do the same one last time in May, unless Xephyr already has his playlist planned out by then. A great way to throw back to my Guardians past and discovering music from different genres and eras of the clan (with a lot of 80s classics)! So here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Within Temptation, Annisokay - "Shed My Skin" from Shed My Skin (2021)

4.5/5. From the serene vocals of Sharon den Adel, this is already an amazing start of this playlist of great symphonic fire, featuring German metalcore band Annisokay.

Avantasia - "The Scarecrow" from The Scarecrow (2008)

4/5. This was one of my favorite power metal epics when I was still heavily into the power metal genre nearly 10 years ago. While it doesn't touch my heart now as much as it did back then, I still enjoy it, especially the lyrics.

Scorpions - "Blackout" from Blackout (1982) (re-recorded version from Comeblack (2011))

3.5/5. Good power, though not quite frantic. This re-recording of a classic would've sounded heavier if it wasn't too modernized. Not too much of a disappointment, but has some faults. I would've chosen the original instead if it was available on Spotify, but never mind.

LOUDNESS - "Crazy Night" from Thunder in the East (1985) (re-recorded version from ROCK SHOCKS (2004))

3/5. Same with this re-recording, but again that's the only studio version available on Spotify.

Iron Maiden - "Stratego" from Senjutsu (2021)

3.5/5. Iron up! The legendary Iron Maiden continue their usual sound in this song from their new album without sounding too much of the same.

Lizzy Borden - "Me Against the World" from Visual Lies (1987)

4/5. I can dig this bad-a** song from this h*ll of a killer classic heavy metal sound.

Dokken - "It's Not Love" from Under Lock and Key (1985)

3.5/5. This song has a f***ing amazing intro, but the rest of it doesn't reach that glory while still being a decent headbanger.

Warlock - "All We Are" from Triumph and Agony (1987)

4/5. A f***ing kick-A track with a hot female vocalist. There's some good stuff to love about this song by the ex-band of metal queen Doro. Play it loud and proud, and hear those thundering drums! A lot of the heaviness and melody comes from the European North.

Quiet Riot - "Cum on Feel the Noize" from Metal Health (1983)

3.5/5. This one's pretty good, particularly in the lyrics, but a bit too glam for my palate. RIP drummer Frankie Banali and vocalist Kevin DuBrow...

Dio - "Rainbow in the Dark" from Holy Diver (1983)

4/5. Many more people know this song today because of Eddie Munson from Stranger Things. I can't comment much about that because I haven't watched that show. I can, however, mention Dio's cool godly vocals. They're what really level up this song and others from his band. RIP... The mid-paced tempo and occasional keyboard synths give the song far more in common with Europe's sound than Metallica.

Motorhead - "Hellraiser" from March or Die (1992)

3.5/5. RIP Lemmy, another fallen metal idol. His motivational vocals add to the anthemic loudness. The original version by Ozzy Osbourne can be heard in one of the soundtracks for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. And both vocal tracks are used for a 30th anniversary re-recording complete with a kick-A animated music video. Stone Dead Forever!

Ozzy Osbourne - "Lightning Strikes" from The Ultimate Sin (1986)

3/5. Killer riffing by Jake E. Lee and beastly drumming by Randy Castillo (RIP). However, I'm sorry, Ozzy and his fans, but the vocals kind of ruin the song.

Motley Crue - "Live Wire" from Too Fast for Love (1981)

3.5/5. I'm not a fan of Motley Crue and old-school 80s glam/heavy metal, but this one slaps. Pretty good song for a Summer road trip! The vocals are a bit strained though, and I wouldn't recommend singing along if you're like me and can never hit those tenor highs.

Judas Priest - "Hell Bent for Leather" from Killing Machine (1978)

4/5. The drums, guitar, and vocals were so unique back in the 70s, considering how much of a game-changer Judas Priest was in developing classic heavy metal. They'll get you greatly hooked as f***!

Skid Row - "Not Dead Yet" from The Gang's All Here (2022)

3.5/5. The best era for Skid Row for many fans is when they had vocalist Sebastian Bach (not to be confused with the classical composer). Personally I find some greatness in this track with vocalist Erik Grönwall. Still I'm disappointed that the United World Rebellion EP that would've featured ex-DragonForce vocalist ZP Theart isn't happening.

Narnia - "Heavenly Love" from Awakening (1998)

4/5. A beautiful jewel of a neoclassical power metal ballad. This should've been in the soundtrack for the Chronicles of Narnia films.

Time Requiem - "Creator in Time" from Optical Illusion (2006)

4.5/5. Somehow on Spotify, this song's title got mixed up with another one from the same album. This one is actually titled "Ocean Wings". The vocals by Goran Edman are some of the greatest in neoclassical/power metal that I've only recently discovered.

Queensryche - "Spreading the Disease" from Operation: Mindcrime (1988)

4/5. Queensryche has been known as one of the champions of heavy/progressive metal, solidified by their Operation Mindcrime album. Still I would've liked this perfectly if I discovered them like 8 years ago instead of within a couple years before today.

Sabaton - "The Lion From the North" from Carolus Rex (2012)

4.5/5. An amazing part of a concept album about King Charles XII and the Swedish Empire, this song tells the part of that tale about Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who helped developed modern warfare. There's also a Swedish-sung version of the album, but the language doesn't matter as long as the music brings you joy.

Kamelot - "Ghost Opera" from Ghost Opera (2007)

5/5. I'm still grateful for Kamelot kick-starting different parts of my earlier more melodic epic metal interest, alongside DragonForce. Lots of splendorous surprises!

Nightwish - "Over the Hills and Far Away" from Over the Hills and Far Away (2001)

4.5/5. I also love this great song, though not as perfect for me as it would've been all those years ago.

Xandria, Ralf Scheepers - "You Will Never Be Our God" from The Wonders Still Awaiting (2023)

4/5. This one's quite killer. I'm amazed by how well Ralf Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray, Primal Fear) can do those guttural growls.

Epica - "Freedom - The Wolves Within" from Omega (2021)

4.5/5. Epica is slowly building back up the epicness of the late 2000s, with motivational lyrics to fit well with the symphonic metal.

DragonForce - "Heart of the Storm" from The Power Within (2012)

5/5. This one focuses much less on the screaming side of the vocals, and more towards the cleanliness and aggression of Marc's vocals, specifically in the verses. This shows that his massive vocal range is closer to Kiske than Theart.

RichaadEB, Cristina Vee - "Bad Apple!!" from Bullet Hell (2018)

4.5/5. To wrap up the April Guardians playlist, this YouTube guitarist made a kick-A trance-power metal cover of a song from the Touhou Project video game series popularized by Alstroemeria Records, featuring the beautiful vocals of Miraculous Ladybug actress Cristina Vee. Personally, the Zagtoon cartoon I prefer is the underrated Zak Storm. Anyway, my brother enjoys this one, and I guess I do too.

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite a few slight bumps throughout... Anyway, I would recommend this to heavy/power/symphonic/neoclassical metal fans and anyone who isn't into those genres but is up to getting into a great start in enjoying them. Thanks Daniel for letting me take over on the Guardians playlists, accepting this one, and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

I've done my review, here's its summary:

This is it. The real "Big Bang" beginning of my brother's rock/metal taste that would spark up my metal interest, Disturbed's Indestructible! Or at least the title track. Indestructible shines similarly yet greater than what I've heard from Ten Thousand Fists. There's the grand guitar performed by Dan Donegan, with pretty much every track having good soloing without ever being out of place. However, this album would've been as perfect as those masterpiece milestones for my metal interest like DragonForce's Inhuman Rampage and Trivium's In Waves, if not for something holding it back, or someone. Drummer Mike Wengren's beats sounds too plain and doesn't work right in the snare-pedal combo. This causes the bass to have more prominence but in a way that overshadows the drumming. That's not to say the bass is bad at all, it's quite amazing. Simple yet interesting, performed by John Moyer. Here we have 6 of the best tracks I've heard from the band, 4 OK tracks, and two stinkers. The awesome tracks include the first two of the album, the former being the aforementioned "new beginning" for my bro's music path and eventually mine, and the latter written by David Draiman about his ex-girlfriend's suicide. And the otherwise poor drumming works greatly in that better half of the album. And of course, the guitar shines a lot in technicality and melody. Any Disturbed fan might dig this, and I respect this offering as the one spark to ignite my brother's rock/metal interest and eventually mine. Hail our true beginning!


Recommended tracks: "Indestructible", "Inside the Fire", "The Night", "Perfect Insanity", "The Curse", "Divide"

For fans of: Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Trivium's Vengeance Falls (produced by Draiman)

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

The nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

As if I needed any confirmation of Slayer's demise from thrash metal legends, Repentless more than nails the coffin lid shut.  Andi's right to my ears, this album soon degenerates into groove metal with some knock off Machine Head riffs and structures littered all over the place.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

OK, one more encore for this thread, this album from another popular thrash band I haven't checked out until now...

Testament is known as one of the SECONDARY Big 4 of thrash, alongside Exodus, Overkill and Death Angel. Reviewing this album The Formation of Damnation is a good leap from Slayer's Repentless since drummer Paul Bostaph stepped in to play drums for this Testament album at a time when Dave Lombardo (who also recently rejoined Testament) continued his time with Slayer. I also remember guitarist Alex Skolnick performing with Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. However, the quality varies in lukewarm ways. Some songs are brilliant, others are just uninspired. It's a bit frustrating when one half of the album is great and the other is more average. The highlights each have strong melody and a catchy chorus, along with fast harsh aggression for the speedier fans. However, the few poor tracks lose a bit of the band's earlier skill, and while there's longer guitar soloing, it just lacks anything memorable and comes out as pretty much aimless. The flawless highlights are certainly worth listening to, especially for thrash fans. Yet those poor tracks leave me ending another encore to my Ultimate Pit Test with a slight foul taste in my metal mouth....


Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Hey there, Rexorcist. I saw your complete list in Metalforum, and it looks awesome! A solid list of metal classics and favorites. Do you plan on sharing it here, whether it's the full list or just the links?
Quoted Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Thanks a bunch for checking out the list.  I want to make it, but there's still one album missing from the database.  It's really difficult to get this one added, and I don't wanna replace it with number #101.  But I honestly believe that it's one of the very first "metal" albums.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Omega Lithium - "Colossus" (from Kinetik, 2011)

5/5. Let's start with this band that had the potential to keep rolling after two albums, but sadly declined that opportunity. This is an awesome start that's part of a one-two punch with its next track "Dance With Me". This is more kick-A than Rammstein! It really continues where the band left off in their debut Dreams in Formaline. It's my second favorite Omega Lithium song behind "Stigmata". It makes me think of what would happen if Theatre of Tragedy continue the industrial pop rock elements of Musique and Assembly in Storm while keeping that album's gothic metal comeback, or simply a more industrial Evanescence. They should really reform sometime.

Deathstars - "This Is" (from This Is, 2023)

4.5/5. This is real, people! Deathstars have a new album Everything Destroys You coming out two months from now. What a f***ing headbanging return!

Contracult Collective - "WDYT" (from A Cult of Opposition, 2020)

4/5. This good underrated song has a great message. The beat drop starts the crazy loudness. I can hear a bit of a Circle of Dust vibe in this one. The greater industrial metal fans will have a pleasant time.

Gothminister - "Angel" (from Gothic Electronic Anthems, 2003)

4.5/5. Here's an anthemic single totally worth hitting the charts and being used for clubs.

Motionless in White - "Brand New Numb" (from Disguise, 2019)

4/5. This one starts with an outtake of trying to sneak in an acoustic riff ("I'm trying to f***ing record this." "Sorry."), then the actual electric riff in the most poppy radio-friendly song here that's actually very well-written.

Combichrist - "Understand" (from One Fire, 2019)

3.5/5. "Today is not the right day to fall apart..." Good line for a song filled with wild industrial.

Ministry - "Just One Fix" (from ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ [Psalm 69], 1992)

4/5. A pretty great song from Ministry, especially that hard-hitting breakdown over the 3-minute mark. It really can be worth "driving down the highway at night". However, there might be something missing, I don't know. Vocalist Al Jourgensen can do sinister laughing. This industrial rock/metal tune can also work well for fighting a zombie apocalypse, or at least that's what it sounds like. The f***ing world needs to be fixed, doesn't it? Also it reminds me of Rammstein's "Du Hast".

Ghostemane - "Anti-Social Masochistic Rage (ASMR)" (from ANTI-ICON, 2020)

4.5/5. Whoa... So nice yet spooky. I like it!

Strapping Young Lad - "Love?" (from Alien, 2005)

5/5. This is an absolutely emotional composition of punishing heaviness. Devy's great vocals range from screaming to clean. The guitar, bass, and keyboards are amazing with fantastic lyrics. The best song of this album! Though I'm sure there's at least one or two song by the band that's better...

Celldweller - "Shapeshifter" (from Shapeshifter (feat. Styles of Beyond), 2005)

5/5. Who here wants to listen this song while driving your car 200 MPH like a Need for Speed Most Wanted, of course? That's the video game that has this song in its soundtrack. There are some glitches and censored swearing, but that doesn't matter much here, unlike in a certain experimental My Dying Bride stinker...

Turmion Kätilöt - "Naitu" (from Global Warning, 2020)

4.5/5. This is quite bad-a** despite me not being able to understand the Finnish lyrics. There's some good industrial-trance metal to love here!

SKYND - "Tyler Hadley" (from Chapter II, 2019)

4/5. Not gonna lie, this is one of the most disturbing songs I heard in industrial metal, and metal in general. An industrial metal gone trap song about a teen who bludgeoned his parents to death with a hammer, hid the bodies in the closet, and threw a party, then he was arrested the next day and sentenced to life in prison. It's pretty great though. "You should feel lucky, why don't you feel lucky?"

Author & Punisher - "Maiden Star" (from Kruller, 2022)

4.5/5. This one greatly unites more of brutal synths and percussion with heavy otherworldly melody.

Uniform + The Body - "Penance" (from Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back, 2019)

4/5. Here's an interesting blend of industrial noise and synthpop with great production. This collaboration can massage the brains of the strong and damage the brains of the weak. This kind of sound is actually quite underrated. Though it would be greater if there weren't the screams that sound like a rooster being tortured.

Static-X - "Push It" (from Wisconsin Death Trip, 1999)

3.5/5. Another Static-X song after experiencing another one of the songs from the album in this month's Gateway playlist. Wayne's industrial nu metal sound shall live on. RIP... Sounds like something my brother would've listened to over 10 years ago, but he didn't, he was listening to other similar bands. The song was used in some video game/film soundtracks in 1999 and the 2000s. Besides being in The Sphere, it fits well in The Gateway in a different style compared to TOOL.

Lindemann - "Ich weiß es nicht" (from Ich weiß es nicht, 2019)

3/5. The intro starts promising, but once the German verses enter, it starts going a bit downhill. I bet fans of Lindemann's first solo album didn't see the return to Rammstein's Neue Deutsche Härte sound coming in his second solo album.

Architects - "When We Were Young" (from The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit, 2022) 

3.5/5. This is a pretty good new direction for Architects, going alt-industrial metal, though there are other releases that I would rank higher.

Marilyn Manson - "mOBSCENE" (from The Golden Age of Grotesque, 2003)

4/5. A bad-a** song from Marilyn Manson. "PAIN PAIN PAIN!!!"

Circle of Dust - "Onenemy" (from Circle of Dust, 1995)

3.5/5. I love Circle of Dust. It's Klayton's earliest and most metallic project. The lyrics are quite good, and the sound makes me think of Linkin Park gone The Prodigy. "Four cycles moving gone, three dark days and death is on, two wishing to fulfill, only one enemy to kill!" However, much of the structure in the sound is quite mild. However, the breakdown that starts the last minute is something to really love!

Rammstein - "Feuer frei!" (from Mutter, 2001)

3/5. When the sirens go off at the 40-second point, you're in for a ride. Actually this song would cause driving to be quite a challenge if you put it on your car stereo. It doesn't have much fire as I'm hoping for though, probably because of the typical Neue Deutsche Härte. That intro is quite sick though. I could imagine Pitbull remixing this song, which is quite odd to imagine. And don't forget, that song was also in that Vin Diesel film xXx along with one of Hatebreed's songs.

Eisbrecher - "Frommer Mann" (from Liebe Macht Monster, 2021)

3.5/5. This is slightly better, though still sounding a lot like Rammstein, maybe even Oomph!

Traumtaenzer - "Stigmata" (from Der weisse Raum, 2010)

4/5. Enjoyable music, though I prefer Omega Lithium's "Stigmata".

Skrew - "Helter Skelter" (from Angel Seed XXIII, 1997)

4.5/5. As a bonus hidden track in the original album, there are a couple outtakes before the actual song begins. A kick-A industrial metal cover of a Beatles classic!

The Kovenant - "Star by Star" (from Seti, 2003)

5/5. I just started listening to this band full-time, thanks to highlights like this one, and it's a shame that haven't had anything new since this album from 20 years ago. It's amazing how a band that I never had the guts to try when I was in my cleaner teens (because of their earlier black metal era) turns out to be glorious for me. Also associating the band with black metal is keyboardist Geir Bratland who would later join symphonic black metallers Dimmu Borgir. This f***ing great headbanger actually works well for the pandemic we were all in. Its album has more apocalyptic synths while being much less extreme than their earlier albums like Nexus Polaris. The Kovenant has proven to be masters of cyber-gothic metal. The band's not dead, it's just that the members have moved on to other things. Think before you judge this awesome piece!

Sybreed - "ReEvolution" (from Slave Design, 2004)

4.5/5. Pretty cool cyber metal. What else can I say?

Fear Factory - "A Therapy for Pain" (from Demanufacture, 1995)

5/5. A dark nearly 10-minute epic showing how influential Fear Factory can be. They're known as one of the first bands to unite clean singing with harsh growling. This is the kind of raw energy that I wish I would've discovered in my teens, if not for my dominating melodic side.

Godflesh - "Suction" (from Streetcleaner, 1989)

4.5/5. Last but not least, this is a much shorter piece. Similar to the rest of the EP that was added to the band's debut, it sounds more like industrial hard rock within the riffs and beats, with the vocals sounding cleaner for an ethereal tone. But it's still worth hearing...

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite a few slight bumps throughout... Anyway, I sure would recommend this to any industrial metal fan and anyone who isn't into industrial metal but is up to getting into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Stigmata - "The Heart Grows Harder" (from The Hard Grows Harder, 1992)

4.5/5. A great way to start the playlist is with the best song in its original album by far, a 7-minute opening epic that reminds me of Paradise Lost's Shades of God in the earlier verses. Then midway through, things go as fast as the speed/thrash metal of early Metallica. But there's still a bit of the hardcore/metalcore that represents what the earlier bands of the genre were going for. Then it slows down again to that Paradise Lost-like pace. The rest of the original album is 5 more songs with two scattered interludes, but none of them match the title track's glory.

Bleeding Through - "Fade into the Ash" (from Love Will Kill All, 2018)

5/5. A blistering mix of epicness and extremeness, and one of the most glorious metalcore songs I've ever heard! It displays the band's crushing music with huge hooks and one of the greatest choruses in the album and the band, topped off by symphonic keyboards. Pretty much every element the band has is served in just 3 and a half minutes. WELCOME F***ING BACK!!!

Dead to Fall - "Stupid?" (from Are You Serious?, 2008)

5/5. This one unleashes mighty in-your-face deathly metalcore to make fun of the genre in the lyrics, with Hunt bellowing about how "F***ING STUPID!!!" this song is, mentioning the "OH SH*T!!" At the Gates-like thrashy death metal riff while it's playing, and finally ending it all "WITH A F***ING BREAKDOWN!!!" There's more eclectic programming to come later...

Deadwater Drowning - "The Best Sex I Ever Had Started with a 900-Number and a Credit Card Verification" (from Deadwater Drowning, 2003)

4.5/5. This is perhaps the best song of its original EP, scary with some bits of Drowningman.

Shai Hulud - "The Consummate Dragon" (from That Within Blood Ill-Tempered, 2003)

5/5. One of the best songs of the more hardcore side of metalcore! Lots of people should find this song and witness what's to love there. "How does it sleep at night, this tyrant?! Heaping slaves on the pyre just to watch ambition burn!"

Trivium - "Insurrection" (from Shogun, 2008)

4.5/5. This one has the melodic vocals and thrashy guitar playing from The Crusade while still keeping some sinister metalcore screams and breakdowns.

All That Remains - "The Last Time" (from For We Are Many, 2010)

5/5. This is probably the best song of its original album and my second favorite by the band, behind "Two Weeks" from Overcome. It really brings their metal sound despite mostly clean vocals and the repetitive chorus.

Kingdom of Giants - "Motif" (from All the Hell You've Got to Spare, 2017)

4.5/5. Another track that's really hard to dislike because of how much the band has accomplished. Holy sh*t, the vocal variation is quite a lot!

Lorna Shore - "Into the Earth" (from Pain Remains, 2022)

5/5. Part of the epicness or Lorna Shore's new album, this one drives further with its frantic verses and dramatic chorus.

Slaughter to Prevail - "Demolisher" (from Kostolom, 2021)

4.5/5. And right after that Lorna Shore track is a killer song from a different band with the f***ing monstrous vocalist Alex Terrible. This song tackles the selfishness of their country Russia's government that doesn't care about the wars their citizens are suffering through. At one minute left, there's a f***ing brutal breakdown that fans of the genre would love to headbang to, right after Alex screams the song title "DEMOLISHER!!" This is real deathcore demolition!

From Here On - "Shard of Glass" (from Hope for a Bleeding Sky, 2000)

4.5/5. One of only two great highlights in this EP, this one is a total spine-chiller.

Sikth - "How May I Help You" (from How May I Help You, 2002)

5/5. This fantastic song has a crazy lot of guitar shredding and screaming babbling in a way that I love. Apparently it tells some kind of interesting fictional story.

Void of Vision - "Hole in Me" (from Hyperdaze, 2020)

5/5. There's a redux version of this track that features Kenta Koie of Crossfaith. His scream at over the two and a half minute mark is the f***ing killer sh*t!

Strife - "Angermeans" (from Angermeans, 2001)

4.5/5. Angermeans is an amazing underrated album by this band, Strife, with lots of original emotion. This song is really great, with a f***ing amazing riff to start it. Although there's also a bit of experimentation in that album, it's still like a more metallic Terror.

Ice Nine Kills - "Hip to Be Scared" (from The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood, 2021)

5/5. This one is based on American Psycho, and the first single of the album. They've really executed their sound like an execution! Great parts of the song include the sample of the original Huey Lewis song, and background vocals by Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach.

Memphis May Fire - "This Light I Hold" (from This Light I Hold, 2016)

4.5/5. Also featuring Jacoby Shaddix, the lyrics are about people or things being deemed bad by haters who don't bother collecting evidence. That's an excellent metaphor for people putting down metal because of the lyrical themes from death/black metal that they think every metal genre has when they obviously don't.

The Chariot - "David De La Hoz" (from Long Live, 2010)

5/5. A video was made for this diverse highlight. The song features a weird bridge from a hillbilly preacher, and it ends with a soft harp outro.

Unbroken - "Blanket" (from Life. Love. Regret, 1994)

4.5/5. Another intense unforgiving highlight! That's all there is to say...

The Browning - "Carnage" (from Geist, 2018)

5/5. I just love this American take on Crossfaith's electronic metalcore sound. This can work as a wrestling theme.

August Burns Red - "Ghosts" (from Found in Far Away Places, 2015)

4.5/5. This one starts with what almost sounds like the intro to one of the slower In Flames songs. But the song itself is interesting with clean vocals by Jeremy McKinnon from A Day to Remember, balancing out the melody with the mood that haunts you as much as ghosts.

Motionless in White - "Puppets 2 (The Rain)" (from Infamous, 2012)

5/5. This one starts off sounding a bit like brutal death metal. The chorus is sung by Soilwork's Björn Strid alongside the bellowing of Chris. It's clear how much intense passion can be found in these lyrics of storytelling vision.

Parkway Drive - "Deliver Me" (from Sleepwalker, 2010)

4.5/5. This is a brutal yet simple fan favorite to keep the live crowd energized.

Amaranthe - "Danger Zone" (from Massive Addictive, 2014)

4.5/5. This one, having a bit of the metalcore side of the band's sound, continues Elize's angelic siren-like vocals while also displaying Henrik's vocal ability, perfectly suited to hammer through heavy riff breakdowns in a shattering pulse.

From Autumn to Ashes - "Short Stories with Tragic Endings" (from Too Bad You're Beautiful, 2001)

5/5. Such a beautiful 9-minute epic that I love from this band, almost fitting well for a both an anime battle scene and anime romantic scene. So inspiring without anything forced! Within all that emotional passion, the ending is an absolute tear-jerker. It's different from what the band would make in other songs like "The After Dinner Payback". The calm ending occurs after the metalcore storm, from the 6-minute mark onwards. The vocals by Melanie Wills and violin makes this song a symphonic metal/post-hardcore track as a whole. Except the ending doesn't get heavy, and her vocals sound more like Avril Lavigne than any female vocalist in symphonic metal. It's quite bearable for the softer listeners, and works well in the aftermath of a heartbreak. "Did you ever look, did you ever see that one person?"

Rolo Tomassi - "Howl" (from Astraea, 2012)

5/5. Howl to the moon for this mind-blowing band of female-led mathcore that reminds me of The Dillinger Escape Plan and early Between the Buried and Me! How hardcore and heavy can they go?! They can surely dominate the mathcore scene. The breakdown at over the two and a half minute mark is a total headbanger. Nicely done!

Car Bomb - "Blackened Battery" (from Mordial, 2019)

5/5. This one is also unforgiving with their time signature changes. This really displays their Metallica influences, with the title coming from two Metallica songs, and different sections paying tribute to "Blackened" in the most mathcore way possible. It's like cheese, crackers, and milk, a few separate things that make an awesome combo!

Chelsea Grin - "All Hail the Fallen King" (from My Damnation, 2011)

4.5/5. An amazing slaying deathcore song, featuring Philip Bozeman of Whitechapel.

The Last Ten Seconds of Life - "Annihilation Phenomena" (from Disquisition on an Execution, 2022)

4/5. My brother told me about this band that a friend of his enjoys that's heavier than what he's comfortable with. Having experienced this kind of heaviness, I decided to check this band out, and it's probably heavier than what I'm used to. This track is still a great brutal deathcore ripper.

Coalesce - "There is a Word Hidden in the Ground" (from Ox, 2009)

4.5/5. This crushing slow closer is a brilliant favorite of mine to end it all!

HOLY SH*T, this is probably the best metalcore playlist I've ever done, with every track ranging from 4.5 to 5 stars, except for one 4-star track. I sure would recommend this to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

With Xephyr taking a break from Metal Academy to prepare for his professional engineering exam, I was given the opportunity to take over assembling Guardians playlists for the time being. A great way to throw back to my Guardians past and discovering music from different genres and eras of the clan (with a lot of 80s classics)! So here are my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Blind Guardian - "Majesty" from Battalions of Fear (1988)

4.5/5. Odd carnival intro aside, the opening track of this album and playlist is a majestic anthem with a melodic chorus of vocal layers.

Helloween - "Guardians" from Walls of Jericho (1985)

4/5. This one has solid higher speed and nice melodic guitar riffing. There's slightly less power in the vocal notes Hansen tries to hit. However, it's made up for by the strong catchy chorus, along with nice bass. An anthem for power metal and the Guardians clan!

Motley Crue - "Looks That Kill" from Shout at the Devil (1983)

3.5/5. A bit too glam for most metalheads including myself, but Mick Mars' guitar talent is underrated and bad-a**.

Scorpions - "Rock You Like a Hurricane" from Love at First Sting (1984)

3/5. The late 20th Century was when rock and metal were really rising, and it can be good to look back at that time today in the 2020s. However, this one rocks much more like a glam/hard rock hurricane.

Ozzy Osbourne - "God Only Knows" from Patient Number 9 (2022)

3.5/5. This one's slightly better, with Ozzy borrowing a lyric from Neil Young and singing his own variation, "It’s better to burn in Hell than fade away".

Black Sabbath - "Heaven and Hell" from Heaven and Hell (1980)

4/5. And now we head to a classic from Ozzy's former band Black Sabbath, though this is from the Dio era. His vocals are so heart-tearing along with the guitar soloing. The music and lyrics are a lot to love for many metalheads. Dio was quite a metal legend. RIP

Judas Priest - "Breaking the Law" from British Steel (1980)

3.5/5. This band is quite brave to keep going from this classic onward, remaining active over 53 years after formation. Quite catchy!

Accept - "How Do We Sleep" from Too Mean to Die (2021)

4/5. "The thoughts have all been written down, the pen is laid aside. Do you feel your mind at peace, or do you feel as though you've died?" It's lines like those that can stay in your head. The harmonic structure fits well for this bad-a** composition in Accept's latest album. Don't let the evil beast of karma catch up to you!

KISS - "I Love It Loud" from Creatures of the Night (1982)

3.5/5. Surprised to find a KISS song in this playlist? I'm personally surprised to recognize this as the theme song for that South American soccer show of Disney XD, O11CE (pronounced like the Spanish word for "11"). The drums are killer and add to the song's arena vibe.

Dio - "Holy Diver" from Holy Diver (1983)

4/5. Another classic from Dio, and a more famous one. You just can't resist his powerful voice. Once again, RIP...

Bitch - "Riding In Thunder" from Be My Slave (1983)

3.5/5. Interesting choice, Daniel! There are catchy riffs to party along to. You can almost think of this band, specifically their frontwoman Betsy, as the metal Madonna.

Krokus - "Screaming in the Night" from Head Hunter (1983)

3/5. Here's another 40-year-old classic song, though it's too much like Scorpions and Def Leppard for me to truly like. Krokus is kind of a cool name for heavy metal/hard rock band. While it's not really the best song for me, it's one any metalhead won't regret.

Dokken - "Dream Warriors" from Back for the Attack (1987)

3.5/5. I probably would've rocked out to this song more about 9 years before this comment when my metal interest was more melodic. Still the lyrics are pretty good. The drums and guitars rock quite a bit. It's a dream that can wake you up despite not being a nightmare. Sounds good, right?

Symphony X - "Smoke and Mirrors" from Twilight in Olympus (1998)

4/5. The neoclassical madness of this band Symphony X may be hard for simple guitar listeners to understand. But there are great guitar solos to learn such as the one surround the 4-minute mark.

Queensryche - "Chapters" from Digital Noise Alliance (2022)

4.5/5. This is quite an excellent song filled with unique magic. Cheers to this band! Hope to keep up the revisiting.

Within Temptation - "Mother Earth" from Mother Earth (2000)

4/5. For those wondering what the band who made that "Shed My Skin" song with Annisokay sounds like in their earlier material, look no further to this beautiful piece of symphonic metal. It was a memorable highlight in my epic metal teens, but now not so perfect due to my taste changing to become heavier and less bombastic.

Epica - "Victims of Contingency" from The Quantum Enigma (2014)

4.5/5. Epica is another symphonic metal band I used to love, and recently they became one of my Audiomachine-loving friend's favorite bands. She and I both sang this song in karaoke the other day. I performed the death growling while she performed the operatic singing. Pretty killer, right?

Kamelot - "Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)" from Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem) (2023)

5/5. Kamelot is yet another band I used to enjoy and what got me into the symphonic metal part of my epic metal taste nearly 10 years ago. The guitar harmonies and orchestra make a fantastic combo. The song itself is like a sequel to the title track of Ghost Opera! Tina Guo performs beautiful cello soloing. This unbelievable single definitely makes me up to revisiting Kamelot with their new album The Awakening!

Stratovarius - "Frozen in Time" from Survive (2022)

4.5/5. Stratovarius made a wonderous return from a 7-year gap between albums with the new Survive. This kind of composition can make classical and metal composers dead or alive proud. Don't know if I would be up to checking out the rest of the album, but maybe one day...

Sabaton - "Christmas Truce" from The War to End All Wars (2022)

4/5. A couple months late for Christmas, but never mind. I enjoy the lyrics, along with the music throwing back to "Carol of the Bells".

Nick Z Marino - "Freedom Has No Price" from Freedom Has No Price (2010)

4/5. This is quite tremendous neoclassical guitar soloing inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen, who helped produce the album. However, the vocals bring down the score a bit.

Warfare - "Metal Anarchy" from Metal Anarchy (1985)

4.5/5. A grand anthem of punky metal! It really does show the band raising their fists in anarchy, along with the music video of being metaphorically caged in.

DragonForce - "Chemical Interference" from Maximum Overload (2014)

5/5. One of the best DragonForce bonus tracks, hinting at what they were aiming for in the next two albums.

Nightwish - "Endlessness" from HUMAN. :II: NATURE. (2020)

4.5/5. Now this is quite a way to end this playlist, with the ending of the full-band part of this album, detailing the expanding universe/multiverse that we all live in. The album is Nightwish's final one with bassist/male vocalist Marko Hietala before he left the band and took a break from the public. The song features Marko's bass performing and vocals for the final time with the band. So poetic! Let's wish the best of luck for their dear friend Marko...

Pretty good playlist I've made, huh? Despite a few slight bumps throughout... Anyway, I would recommend this to heavy/power/symphonic/neoclassical metal fans and anyone who isn't into those genres but is up to getting into a great start in enjoying them. Thanks Daniel for letting me take over on the Guardians playlists, accepting this one, and your help with your submission, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Here's my review summary:

If you can look back at Underoath's past in the couple years before this album in a more outer perspective, you can find the era of Define the Great Line to be the highlight of this band's career, with that album reaching a golden spot on the Billboard. However, I only think most of the second half of that album is good, so they could've just made an EP or something, and that album's future wasn't bright for the band either. They dropped out of the Warped Tour due to Spencer Chamberlain's drug abuse and almost split up. Luckily they stood strong and fought those hard times to unleash one of two more albums, Lost in the Sound of Separation! This is the second album in a row co-produced by Adam Dutkiewicz and Matt Goldman, but now, helping with the mixing was David Bendeth who had also just mixed Paramore album #2 Riot! (coincidentally, Aaron Gillespie would tour with Paramore during Underoath's two-year split). The 11 songs in this album are probably the most massive I've heard from this band, with wide vibes moving you in different directions. Chamberlain's massive growls shake the speakers alongside Gillespie's improved singing and bombastic drumming. One moment there are soothing calm melodies, and the next has the huge guitar riffing from Timothy McTague and James Smith. Grant Brandell’s booming bass and Christopher Dudley's atmospheric keyboards let the instrumentation really pummel away the so-so-ness of Define the Great Line. And one highlight is a very notable one, for me anyway; "Anyone Can Dig A Hole But It Takes A Real Man To Call It Home" may waste a bit of review space with its long title, but the song itself never wastes any time. I sh*t you not, this was used briefly in a TheOdd1sOut video, and that restored my music video memories of this band and got me to start listening to them full-time. Lyrics like "We always assume the worst!" and "How can I still be alive?!" show the theme of anxiety on a frantic search for hope. As for the rest of the album, all the previous Chamberlain-era albums' clichés have been wiped out for ear-piercing fury and unpredictable melody. Underoath have once fallen into their own dark ages but manage to climb out and make this album with the moral that you are never alone. Lost in the Sound of Separation has stabbed the bleak darkness of their times and quality with a ray of optimistic light!


Recommended tracks: "Breathing in a New Mentality", "Anyone Can Dig A Hole But It Takes A Real Man To Call It Home", "Emergency Broadcast :: The End Is Near", "The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed", "Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear", "Desolate Earth :: The End Is Here"

For fans of: The Chariot, Norma Jean, Every Time I Die

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement as two separate entries.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

This nomination has been posted in the Hall of Judgement.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Thanks, Daniel! I’d also like the Angra and Stigmata albums I’ve submitted earlier this month sent to the Hall when possible please:

Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Norwegian industrial metallers Gothminister's seventh studio album is a fairly solid piece of industrial metal. The groove work is fairly solid from top to bottom and the vocal melodies compliment admirably. One of the reasons why I have never been able to appreciate Rammstein fully is because of the language barrier (my German is getting better though). Rammstein have solid melodies and tight knit grooves as well, but something about taking the intricacies of that language and creating a butchered English version does not help matters. Gothminister help by recording all the lyrics in English already....not that you need them because this is still standard in its gothic themes.

Speaking of gothic themes, does anyone else notice how much parts of this record sound like heavier Ghost? Forget about the industrial tinges and all of the synth leads, "Norge", "Mastodon" and "Star" sound identical. Which brings up my biggest issue with Pandemonium as a whole; the record is far too basic. It might borrow from Ghost, or EBM, or even other industrial metal giants like Rammstein, but not a lot about it feels innovative or unique to Gothminister. While I did enjoy it, too often I found the music falling behind and closer to background noise than anything I want to become invested in. 


Shadowdoom9 (Andi)

The modern alternative metalcore scene is a hard subgenre to pin down. While it certainly has its modern upsides in Bad Omens and Spiritbox, a lot of them begin to blend together after a while, as many simply latch on to already popular/dead trends hoping to make a quick buck. Motionless in White is one of those bands for me. After attempting to go more alternative with 2014's Reincarnate, they became a band that would release records that get a bunch of acclaim, but are as quickly forgotten about a month later.

Case in point, I did listen to Scoring the End of the World back in June of 2022 and thought it was...fine. Chris Motionless is quite capable when writing well constructed tunes with some decent melodies. And, most important to me, incorporating breakdowns that do not act as an aside from the original concept or idea. But the record is held back considerably by not having any identity of its own. I had to do a double take at first when listening to the chorus of "Sign Of Life" because I thought for certain that Benjamin Burnley was the principal vocalist here.

And while the vocal comparison should not be that big of a deal, when the instrumentals sound like Breaking Benjamin too, that's where I have to draw a line. MiW goes a step further by having "Porcelain" sound like a modern Bullet for my Valentine tune, complete with some industrial/electronic spattering's that, while not offensive, I found to be more than distracting.

Scoring the End of the World has a lot of guest features and those tunes also feature some of the freshest sounds on the record. "Slaughterhouse" with Bryan Garris is a straight rump and serves as a good change of pace and intensity following the slower, more dreary "Porcelain". Then a trifecta of songs at the end of the record, however these tunes are not as enjoyable. starting off with "Cyberhex" sounding closer to a Mick Gordon track than even the title track, which actually features Mick Gordon! And in the middle of those two, we have the Marilyn Manson inspired "Red, White & Boom", which can be cheeky and fun, but I was not really feeling it.

And I think the reason why is because MiW have this long stretch of Breaking Benjamin/Bullet for my Valentine sounding tunes that aren't the most innovative things in the world. Sure they have breakdowns, but a metalcore band has to do more than add breakdowns to pre-existing formulas to make them enjoyable. And then, right at the very end of the album, they throw a curveball and show you something vastly different than what you've heard through the first ten tracks. The pacing of this record is so back heavy that I had less interest in those deviances than if they had been prominently featured early on in the record. Chris Motionless and company may have had some good ideas, but they are few and far between, and the sequencing is not good at all.